We should ban advertising to kids

8 Aug

Last month I wrote a post about how vulnerable kids are to sophisticated advertisers.

It led to some online conversations which led to some offline conversations, which led to volunteers from T-CAAN (Trans Canadian Advertising Agency Network), which led to the very welcome involvement of Sudbury, Ontario’s Mario Parise, whose thoughtful comments often accompany the blog posts here.

And now we have an action plan: to change the federal legislature on this issue, to be in line with the total ban in Quebec, Sweden, Norway and other civilized and advanced cultures. We want advertising to young children to stop.

To that end we started a survey monkey to determine the level of support for this initiative. So far we have the backing of 85% of the respondents.  Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey, if you did so. There were some eye-opening comments and suggestions.

Our next step is to use social media to create a groundswell of further support which we will use to petition the guv.

To the people who told us that parents alone should be responsible for monitoring what their kids watch on TV, I can only respectfully say that, using that reasoning, parents should also be solely responsible for the drugs their kids consume, so why not legalize that too.

Parenting only goes so far. Then there is what is ethically and morally wrong. That’s what this change is about.  Seriously, little kids can’t process this stuff. And you’re not always there providing colour commentary.

We can’t protect our kids forever from the real world. But we have to remind ourselves that they are different than we are: more trusting, more innocent, less cynical.

That’s worth protecting.

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2 Responses to “We should ban advertising to kids”

  1. margriet aasman August 9, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    Isn’t there a saying that goes like this: It takes a community to raise a kid. My ‘kids’ are launching out into raising their own. I look at them and marvel at what wonderful adults they have become. I can’t take credit for it. Well maybe some… but I had help from my husband, my family, my friends, my church group, and many others. Parents cannot do this all on their own. You are right, because kids are more trusting and innocent, they need and deserve protection. They need guidance to help make the right decisions in life, and a parent is not always available. Working and single parents especially need support. So a BIG YES to stopping advertising to kids. And a BIG thank you to Doug and Mario for taking this on.

  2. dougbrowncreative August 9, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Wasn’t it Raffi who said that?? Or sang it?

    When I watch how my daughter plays, I am brought into a world of imagination and trust that I’ve forgotten. She trusts me when I’m pulling her leg…but I will eventually tell her that’s what I’m doing.

    Advertising doesn’t work that way. It seeds things in their imagination-rich minds that our adult use-or-discard brains are less vulnerable to. And there they grow.

    I’m glad to hear you support the initiative Margriet. Thank you. And see you and your team in Victoria on Wednesday evening.

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